San Francisco (AFP) - Google took on rivals Apple, Samsung and Amazon in a new push into hardware, launching premium-priced Pixel smartphones and a slew of other devices showcasing artificial intelligence prowess. The unveiling of Google's in-house designed phone came as part of an expanded hardware move by the US company, which also revealed details about its new "home assistant" virtual reality headset and Wi-Fi router system. The San Francisco event marked a shift in strategy for Google, which is undertaking a major drive to make Google Assistant artificial intelligence a futuristic force spanning all kinds of internet-linked devices. "We are evolving from a mobile-first world to an AI-first world," Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said. "Our goal is to build a personal Google for each and every user."
Software giant Google is beginning an aggressive foray into hardware production with the launch Tuesday of a smartphone and other devices that will bring the company into direct competition with other leading tech firms, including its longtime partner Samsung. The launch signals a major shift for one of the world's most profitable companies as it seeks to adapt to a technology landscape increasingly dominated by mobile and other connected hardware. Google must find a way, analysts say, to keep acquiring user data for targeting ads as Web search -- traditionally done from laptop or desktop computers -- is supplanted by newer technologies. Google's new smartphone, the Pixel, will employ artificial-intelligence technology that users can converse with, allowing them to sidestep keyboards as they access online information and make purchases such as movie tickets, say people familiar with the company's plans who spoke on the condition of anonymity to reveal information ahead of its official release. The company also plans to release other new hardware, including a voice-based assistant for the home to rival Amazon's Echo and a virtual-reality headset to rival Facebook's Oculus.
Google's strategic move into selling own branded Mobile phones is another step in the merging of "Software plus Hardware" that Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and recently Facebook have realized at the making of the "Internet of Things" Era. This is the critical issue of not just providing the software and operating system but increasing the value in the devices that become the Interface to the Customer: the smart phone, the smart tablet/laptop of Microsoft Surface, the Smart Speaker of Amazon Echo and Alexa, and the Facebook Oculus Rift and Microsoft Hololens that are the new foundations of Natural Language speech recognition services and the VR Virtual Reality and AR Augmented Reality breaking now and into 2017 and onward. Google's long-term market is changing, the advertising revenue from search engines while still strong is now seeing new ways to search via speech or Virtual image recognition and virtual interaction Google has been late to realizing perhaps the shift to software hardware is where the Internet of Things may be shaping the market with the Connected Home, Connected Car and Connected Work through these devices. It's all about "market marking" beyond just the big cloud data centers and big data analytics to how to build out the edge of the cloud network with all these potentially billions of connected sensors and devices. If the Mobile phone is becoming the "remote control to this world" and platforms the "fabric of social networks and connected experiences" then Google like others is rushing to get into this space with stronger software and hardware offerings
Google is launching a messaging app, and it's going to start butting into your conversations. Allo, as the app has been named, was unveiled at the opening event of the company's I/O developer conference in San Francisco. It works similarly to most other messaging apps, but also has a built-in AI assistant. Google's assistant scans your incoming messages, so it can suggest good responses. It can do this for regular texts or picture messages, and seemed impressively smart in on-stage demonstrations.
Nvidia's varied range of GPU developer tools have been spread out into specialized kits, but that's not the case any more. The company has announced the Nvidia SDK unified toolkit, which brings together its game development, supercomputing, virtual reality, automotive and drone and robot development tools into one package. The toolkit brings together essential tools and libraries necessary for GPU development, Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO of Nvidia, said during a keynote at the company's GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, California. The toolkit is tuned for Nvidia's latest Pascal GPU architecture, which the company is expected to detail at the show. Pascal contains many technological improvements that could trigger changes in the way applications are written for GPUs.